Technology

Should Investors Be More Cautious on HP After Earnings?

When HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) released fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday, the firm said that it had $0.62 in earnings per share (EPS) and $15.3 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for $0.52 in EPS and $14.65 billion in revenue, and the same period of last year reportedly had $0.60 in EPS and $15.4 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, Personal Systems net revenue was flat year over year at $10.4 billion (up 1% in constant currency) with a 5.1% operating margin. Commercial net revenue decreased 12%, and Consumer net revenue increased 24%. Total units were up 7% with Notebooks units up 25% and Desktops units down 31%.

Printing net revenue decreased 3% to $4.8 billion (down 2% in constant currency) with a 14.8% operating margin. Total hardware units were up 14% with Commercial hardware units down 10% and Consumer hardware units up 18%. Supplies net revenue was down 1% (flat in constant currency).

HP generated $1.8 billion of free cash flow in the fiscal fourth quarter. On the books, HP’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $4.86 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $4.54 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Separately, the company announced that the board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.1938 per share on its common stock, representing an increase of 10% from the prior dividend. The dividend is payable on January 6, to stockholders of record as of the close of business December 9.

Looking ahead to the fiscal first quarter, HP expects to see EPS in the range of $0.64 to $0.70. The consensus estimates are $0.53 in EPS and $14.12 billion in revenue for the quarter.

HP stock traded up more than 6% early Wednesday to $23.13, in a 52-week range of $12.54 to $23.93. The consensus price target is $20.39.